Frederick Wiseman
[Filmmaker and Documentarian, b. 1930, Boston, Massachusetts, lives in Boston.]

 The effort to see and really to represent is no idle business in face of the constant force that makes for muddlement. The great thing is indeed that the muddled state too is one of the very sharpest of the realities, that it also has color and form and character, has often in fact a broad and rich comicality. 

Shomei Tomatsu
[Photographer, b. 1930, Nagoya, Japan, d. 2012, Okinawa, Japan.]

 Sometimes a photographer is a passenger, sometimes a person who stays in one place. What he watches changes constantly, but his watching never changes. He doesn’t examine like a doctor, defend like a lawyer, analyze like a scholar, support like a priest, make people laugh like a comedian, or intoxicate like a singer. He only watches. This is enough. No, this is all I can do. All a photographer can do is watch. Therefore, a photographer has to watch all the time. He must face the object and make his entire body an eye. A photographer is someone who wagers everything on seeing. 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
[Poet, novelist, playwright, and natural philosopher, b. 1749, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, d. 1832, Weimar, Germany.]

 The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes. (Maxim often quoted by Albert Renger-Patzsch.) 

Stephen Shore
[Photographer, b. 1947, New York, lives in New York.]

 I wanted to make pictures that felt natural, that felt like seeing, that didn’t feel like taking something in the world and making a piece of art out of it. 

Theodore Roethke
[Poet, b. 1908, Saginaw, Michigan, d. 1963, Bainbridge Island, Washington.]

 I wish I could find an event that meant as much as simple seeing. 

Lewis Baltz
[Photographer, b. 1945, Newport Beach, California, d. 2014, Paris.]

 One of photography’s early attractions for me was that it was – or could be made to appear to be – almost the same as ordinary vision; or at least it was the closest thing to that the arts offered. It had the illusion of being unmediated seeing, and it was that quality that I wanted to exploit… 

Abelardo Morell
[b. 1948, Havana, Cuba, lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.]

 The thing that makes me want to make pictures now is just looking without many prejudices. The stuff right under your eyes is the most wonderful universe—if you care to look with young eyes. 

Bill Brandt
[Photographer, b. 1904, Hamburg, Germany, d. 1983, London.]

 It is part of the photographer’s job to see more intensely than most people do. He must have and keep in him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveler who enters a strange country. 
quotes 1-8 of 272
page 1 of 34 next page last page
display quotes